Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver

This week I shall be watching London lit up with fireworks and Guido Fawkes being stacked precariously on an inferno. I can’t say I am too partial to sparklers as they seem to me one of the most misguided inventions around – ‘ooooh look a firework children can hold in their hand’. However I do have a penchant for Catherine Wheels, perhaps because I some how relate to the 4th Century scholar who was well read and educated. She apparently told her parents that she would only marry someone who surpassed her in everything, such that “His beauty was more radiant than the shining of the sun, his wisdom governed all creation, his riches were spread throughout all the world.’ – well, we’ve all been there.  She was fated to be disappointed, due to her outspoken personality she ended up being sentenced to death by torture on the wheel [eeek!], but as soon as she touched the wheel it broke [phew!], she was then sentenced to beheading [such is life and men].  So in honour of the well read Saint let me unveil this weeks Wintery reading delight which Saint Cathy would be proud of!

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is an absolute gem of a book and with the hardcover now released you will be able to treasure it in your book shelf or library [if you are lucky enough to have one]. This book has built up a great following already and the sequel is already predicted for 2010 entitled ‘Linger’ and once you have read this you will eager to get your hands on the next one.

The book centres around a young girl called Grace who as an eleven year old child was dragged from her swing into the woods by wolves. As she lay there being pushed and pulled by the wolf pack she was fixated with a wolf with striking yellow eyes who saved her and returned her home. Growing up she continued to be drawn to the wolves in the woods especially her wolf with the yellow eyes. The wolves only ever were seen in Winter and every time she saw the wolf and tried to get close to him he vanished. With constantly absent parents Grace made even her friends feel uncomfortable with her growing obsession with wolves. Grace  as  a neglected and lonely seventeen year old craved the bond the wolf pack. She befriends a popular girl at school who’s brother was killed by the wolves but she doesn’t believe this and is searching for answers.

Eventually reports of wolf attacks spread and people began to come after the wolves with guns. Worried for her wolf’s life she tries to stop the men by creating a diversion and on the way home finds a man called Sam naked at her home with striking yellow eyes. Could this be her wolf? Slowly Sam tells the story of his past and Grace and he fall in love. She learns that he can only turn human a number of times and this summer could be the last time he is human. As winter approaches he must fight the urge to return to being a wolf or face Grace and he being apart.

The book focuses on love, friendship and relationships as well as parental misgivings. Recently there has been an influx of supernatural or myth based fiction and the same old ‘immortal meets human, immortal can’t be with human’ becomes a little bit old hat, but this novel, is a great original read and the story flows very well. This is essentially a teens book but still a great read – perfect for a duvet day! – Lauren

Author: Rohini Wahi

Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.

She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at mail@rohiniwahi.com

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